Fulani herders under the auspices of Miyetti Allah Association have said the ravaging COVID-19 virus has taken its toll on their business resulting in the loss of N5b.
The herders in Oyo State spoke through their former Chairman, Alhaji Yakubu Bello in Iseyin yesterday.
The association also lamented that the palliatives being distributed by both the Federal and state governments were yet to get to them.
On their contributions towards checking the spread of the deadly virus, he said he had given directives that would control the influx of his people from the North to the south.
When speaking with Vanguard in a telephone interview yesterday, Bello said,
“We don’t know how they are distributing the palliatives.”
“We have heard of cases of people that were arrested for defying inter-state lockdown order, whether they were coming from the North or anywhere from Nigeria, but I can tell you that nothing of such has happened here.”
“The moment government announced the lockdown order, we sent a strong warning to our people in all the states of the nation not to come to Oyo State for business or visit till this trying period is over.”
“It is really a difficult period for my people as they have never experienced such restriction before and in this business, I can tell you that we have lost over N5 billion to the effects of the ravaging Coronavirus disease.”
“You know how this place used to be a beehive of commercial activities. People will come from all over the country and beyond to buy and sell, people sell not just cows and other livestock, but personal items and household materials here. It is now like a ghost town.”
“We only hear people talk about FG’s social benefits like the one they send money to the poor people in the country.
None of our own people has benefited. We saw pictures of local government caretaker chairmen distributing the States palliative materials to people but we were excluded.”
“We pay our taxes here as citizens of Nigeria and contribute to the economy of the State, why do they exclude our people?.
“We should be grateful to the state government for not succumbing to pressure to lock down the State as other States have done earlier,
the governor’s decision saved so many souls who had to go do menial works to survive before the curfew starts daily,
but we need them to also look into how the Fulani settlements in the State will also benefit from their palliatives,” he noted.